Is anyone using Microsoft's Remote Desktop:Mac ?


Having spent the entire morning searching on Google and much cursing, it dawned on me to to try the Apple people here :slight_smile:

I have a Macbook Pro that boots into Windows so I can use a couple of must-have apps from time-to-time. That time is now, and I need to be doing a lot of work in Windows over the next couple of weeks.

So, given that I also have a lovely big-screen iMac, I thought there must be a way that I could connect the two machines, so I’d be working off of the MBP but using the iMac screen.

It seems there are various utilities - I’ve been trying Microsoft’s Remote Desktop for Mac, but I just can’t get the thing to work. I suspect the problem is a configuration one - I’ve made sure the Windows machine is set to allow remote access, and the firewall is switched off while I try to get things going, but I simply cannot connect to the MBP.

So, I was just wondering if anyone else has tried this setup, or if anyone can think of an alternative. Both machines run Leopard but alas, Leopard’s own screen sharing is not available (it seems) when the machine to be shared is booted in Windows.

All bright ideas welcome :slight_smile:


Are you using the machine name or the IP address when you try to connect? I’ve found using the IP address is more reliable in mixed environments.

Thanks for the tip :slight_smile:

I just tried the IP address and have the same problem - after I enter my username and password, it cannot connect. I have a nasty feeling there is something in the XP setup on the Windows machine, but I’m so rusty on Windows these days, i dread to start digging!

I am trying to understand what it is exactly you wish to do?
Do you wish to use the iMac as a Display for your MBP for more screen real estate? or are you trying to share files from windows to the mac?

If you wish to be able to use both windows and mac applications at the same time I would suggest something like VM Fusion or Parallels and run the windows apps in a window on the Mac.

If you need a “bigger display” you can get a DVI to RCA video adapter and hook your MBP up to a big tv. (I sometimes hook my G5 up to my 42" flat screen"

If you wish to network the two together to “share files” these may help

For OSX 10.4.x … h1161.html

For OSX 10.5.x … /8201.html

Hope that helps?

Hi Wock

I’m always vague when I’m confused :slight_smile:

My aim is your second option - to have a bigger display. I don’t have a large TV screen (my laptop is almost bigger than my tv!) so I was sure there must be something I could do to link my iMac to the MacBook Pro and run off the MBP.

Both macs play nicely on my wireless network and I happily share files between the two; both also run Leopard and Leopard’s screen sharing is perfect…if ONLY it worked when the MBP boots in Windows :frowning:

Oh well!

Thanks for all the useful info :slight_smile:

  1. Booting the iMac into Windows would be your ideal solution, but I am guessing you don’t have a Windows installation on the iMac.

  2. I wonder if you would be able to boot the iMac into Windows by booting up off the MBP in “target disk mode”. Probably won;t work, but if you are really determined to have it…


Maybe you can try this Free Trial Version and see if this does what you want. If it does you may need to purchase it but it is cheaper than a second monitor. I haven’t used it myself so I cannot recommend whether it is worth it or not but since they have a free trial version you can see if this is what you are looking for without any cost to you.

Screen Recycler

Hope that helps.

PS: here is a video of Screen Recycler working.
If I am understanding you correctly this is what you want it to do. BUT I do not know if it will work when you are on the PC side??? Maybe run VM Fusion or Parallels and Screen Recycler on the Mac side and all will be okey dokey???

I assume the XP load is configured to allow Remote Desktop connections, and the firewall has the ports open?

Goodness, lots of things to try :slight_smile:

Screen recycler looks promising, I’ll give it a try tomorrow.

kastorff - yes, I checked the remote option is checked and I actually switched the firewall off completely, just for testing.

I’ll update with progress - thanks to all for your help!

Do you have anything VPN tools installed on your Windows install? Some of those sorts of things will act as a mini-firewall, even if turned “off.” I had Checkpoint on my PC and couldn’t get any connection to or from my Macs.


If you set up a VNC Server on your Windows instance (try RealVNC, a good free one), you can connect to it using Apple’s

I find the easiest way of connecting that way is to use Connect to Server (Cmd-K) in Finder.

Then it’s vnc://YourWindowsHostNameOrIPAddress
So in my case to my Linux box, it’s vnc://Linux.local

You might need to append a port using :stuck_out_tongue:ort if your server doesn’t use the standard VNC port of 5900 (but it should).

e.g. vnc://Linux.local:6300

I’ve noticed isn’t a great VNC client when connecting to any other OS than OSX, though - it doesn’t handle things like Shift or Caps Lock at all. You might want to check out Jolly’s Fast VNC - which is a speedy little free VNC client that DOES handle all of that, recently updated for Leopard.

I used RDC quite a bit before I got my new Intel Mac. I was able to connect to Windows boxes on a LAN and WAN, and I quite liked it.

As a heads up, RDC only work with XP Pro (and Server 2003). The home version of XP doesn’t have the necessary services. I’m not sure about Vista but imagine that with the plethora of versions offered some will have it and other won’t.

Windows needs to be configured to accept remote connections as it doesn’t allow it by default. Right-click your My Computer icon got to Properties and select the Remote tab. Check the ‘Allow users to…’ button and then select the users you want to allow.

Note if you have a firewall or router you’ll need to make sure your mac can tunnel through.

Hope that helps.